Sunak ‘considers political future’ amid row over wife’s tax status…

“When the news broke on Wednesday night that his wife, Akshata Murty, the daughter of a billionaire, was non-domiciled in Britain for tax purposes, the chancellor faced a choice: defend his family or put his political career first by getting her to pay tax in Britain on her foreign investments. Instead, Sunak considered whether to resign. No one in his inner circle told him he should quit, but to those whose counsel he sought, it was clear that he was prepared to go. “He was considering whether he could withstand his family taking this any more,” a source said. In an attempt, perhaps, to insulate his family from the scrutiny of the Downing Street goldfish bowl, the chancellor has moved his wife and two daughters out of their grace-and-favour flat.” – Sunday Times

  • Chancellor’s hopes of becoming prime minister are over, say top Tories – Observer
  • He has blown it and will never be PM, top Tories admit – Sunday Express
  • And Sunak urged to disclose private investments, amid warnings over his role as Chancellor – Sunday Telegraph
  • Chancellor and his family move out of their grace and favour flat – Daily Mail
  • Labour accuses Sunak family of avoiding tens of millions in taxes – Observer
  • Sunak’s wife in £4m loan riddle – Daily Mail
  • ‘Out of touch’ Sunak has let his Yorkshire constituents down – Sunday Telegraph
  • Sunak’s venison soirées kept his rural voters well fed – Sunday Times
  • Chancellor blocks Truss’s tax cut plan for British businesses in Northern Ireland – Sunday Telegraph

…as Javid admits: I was a non-dom for six years but now pay my full share

“Former Chancellor Sajid Javid had non-dom status, and did not pay tax in the UK on his overseas income for six years, when he was a banker earning up to £3 million a year. The health secretary admitted last night that between 2000 and 2006, before he began his political career, he had non-dom status. Javid said he was entitled to this because his father was born in Pakistan. He issued a statement explaining he also benefited from an offshore trust while he worked for Deutsche Bank 20 years ago. It is understood that Javid was not domiciled for tax purposes in Pakistan. But last night his aides did not clarify where he was domiciled…That leaves open the possibility that some of Javid’s assets were located in a tax haven, or that he paid no tax at all on some of them.” – Sunday Times

  • Warburton’s brazen lobbying for Russian who lent him £150,000 – Sunday Times

Ukraine 1) Zelensky has courage of a lion, says Johnson as he goes walkabout in Kyiv

“Boris Johnson secretly travelled to meet President Zelensky yesterday in Kyiv, where he promised new lethal aid for Ukraine including armoured vehicles and anti-ship missiles. The prime minister left the UK on Friday evening with a small delegation of officials, arriving at the Polish border yesterday morning. He was then escorted to the Ukrainian capital, where he held a one-to-one meeting with Zelensky yesterday afternoon at the Mariinskyi Palace, the presidential residence. The pair were also pictured walking through the streets of Kyiv after the meeting. It is the first time Johnson has travelled to Ukraine since the invasion began on February 24. In a televised statement released last night, Johnson said Ukrainians had shown “the courage of a lion” and told Zelensky he had “given the roar of that lion”. –  Sunday Times

  • Johnson promises Zelensky armoured vehicles and more missiles – Sunday Telegraph
  • PM tours the streets of Kyiv in surprise visit – Daily Mail
  • And Johnson meets Zelensky in Kyiv – Sunday Express
  • Russian missile attack on railway station kills women and children – Sunday Times
  • ‘Even Tory MPs can’t get Ukrainian refugees into their homes — it’s a nightmare’ – Sunday Times
  • Full-scale Nato military force to defend borders – Sunday Telegraph
  • UK and EU pledge more support for Ukraine – FT
  • Russian trawlers access to £16m of fish in UK waters, despite fishing ban – Sunday Telegraph
  • Hancock set to open home to seven Ukrainian refugees and their dogs – Sun on Sunday

Ukraine 2) Dominic Lawson: Russians won’t change their minds on Ukraine

“Speaking partly in Russian, Boris Johnson last week delivered a video message, recorded in Downing Street, to the Russian people. It included images of the invader’s barbaric handiwork on the streets of Irpin and Bucha. Johnson told his intended audience: “Your president stands accused of committing war crimes. But I cannot believe he is acting in your name. Your president knows that if you could see what was happening, you would not support his war.” In general, the prime minister’s handling of the crisis has been prescient and sure-footed. But my first reaction was that this broadcast was a futile stunt that would fail to persuade a single Russian who had been supporting the “special military operation” to change his or her mind.” – Sunday Times

French presidential election race narrows further as country goes to polls

“France’s presidential election race has narrowed even further as a shock poll found that most young people are planning to back far-Right candidate Marine Le Pen over Emmanuel Macron. A new YouGov survey this week shows that more than half (56 per cent) of voters aged 18 to 24 would back Le Pen, whose National Rally party has vowed to clampdown on immigration, reassert France’s national identity and fine Muslims who wear headscarves in public. Other polls project Le Pen taking 47 per cent of the vote to Macron’s 53 among the general population — a much closer gap than when the President beat her in the election five years ago.” – Daily Mail

  • It’s now or never for Le Pen – Observer
  • Shock poll election boost for Le Pen – Sunday Telegraph
  • President issued stunning warning that ‘risk of Le Pen victory is high’ – Sunday  Express
  • Macron’s ‘arrogance’ could cost him French election – Sunday Express
  • And Macron given unlikely boost by Putin as ‘no one wants an anti-EU president now’ – Sunday Express

Parliament ousts Khan in last-minute vote

“Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, has lost a no-confidence vote in parliament after a dramatic week in which he violated the constitution in an attempt to stop the move going ahead. Khan, the former premier cricketer turned pious Islamist politician, has been fighting for his political life for weeks, after losing his parliamentary majority. On Thursday, he was delivered a blow after Pakistan’s supreme court found he had broken the law by dissolving parliament in an attempt to prevent a no-confidence vote he was expected to lose from going ahead last week. On the court’s instructions, the vote finally took place on late Saturday night, though not before Khan’s party spent 14 tumultuous hours trying to delay and block it in the national assembly.” – Observer

Robert Colville: If a mere murmur of dissent can blow the PM off course, he will never get anything done

“It’s not exactly unusual to see this government making a U-turn. But it’s still unusual to see it making a U-turn in the face of largely imaginary opposition. Last week’s energy security strategy was all set to recommend a big expansion of onshore wind, championed by the business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng — but the final announcement instead restricted itself to milksop language about “consulting on developing partnerships” with “a limited number of supportive communities”. No 10 had once more bowed to angry MPs, panicking about the reaction in their constituencies.” – Sunday Times

More comment

PM’s LGBT adviser says: take the politics out of transgender debate

“Boris Johnson’s LGBT adviser is dismayed at the shelving of a ban on transgender conversion therapy and has called for a royal commission to recommend policies free from political interference. Last week the prime minister U-turned on a promise to outlaw conversion therapy. After a backlash, he reinstated the policy, but only for lesbian, gay and bisexual people — not trans. There have been concerns that banning conversion therapy for people questioning their gender identity could inadvertently criminalise counselling. However, Lord Herbert of South Downs, the prime minister’s special envoy on gay rights, warned ministers against conflating helping people with “reactionary ideology that can do irreparable harm”. – Sunday Times

  • Jess Phillips: ‘No trans person I’ve met has said we can’t say “woman”’ – Sunday Telegraph
More comment